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Oct312008

History of the Speaker

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The_Maxell_Blown_Away_Guy

The history - or rather, evolution - of the speaker

By Roy Johnson, loudspeaker designer, Green Mountain Audio, Inc.

 

Pythagoras

Chapter 1: 600 B.C. - 1799

Exploring the Mysteries of Sound, Electricity, and Magnetism

 

Observations of natural phenomena are analyzed and categorized for the first time. Mathematics and the scientific method replace Aristotelian natural philosophy. Nature is eventually seen as a set of complex systems, instead of by-products of supernatural forces. >

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Nikola_Tesla

Chapter 2: 1820 - 1925

The Integration of Science with Technology

 

Principals of electromagnetism are defined through observation, hypothesis, and experiment. The invention of wires, batteries, motors, and generators leads to electric power, light bulbs, and the telegraph, telephone, and radio. >

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Douglas_Shearer

Chapter 3: 1925 - 1945

Motion Pictures Create First Large-scale Demand

 

Though loudspeakers and vacuum tubes make radio possible, talking pictures spur interest in recording and reproduction. After WWII, governments subsidize electronics, microphones, and speakers for supplies of public address and communications equipment. >

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Leo_Beranek

Chapter 4: 1948 - 1975

Smaller Sizes for the Home and Studios

 

Consumers may choose from many new types and sizes of speakers. Outdoor performances lead to concert sound systems. New methods of speaker measurement are developed. Psycho-acoustics are further explored. Roy Johnson's research, based on time-domain physics, materials science, and psycho-acoustics, begins in 1973. >

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Roy_Johnson

Chapter 5: 1976 - Present

Exploring Measurements and Materials

 

Speaker designs, many with 'space age' engineering, satisfy large consumer demand. To make room for digital studies, USA universities drop the Physics requirement for Electrical Engineers. Computer-aided crossover designs reduce conventional distortions at the expense of increased time-domain distortions. >

 

 

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